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Author Topic: Spirituality and HIV  (Read 45727 times)

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Offline beaubrent

  • Member
  • Posts: 44
Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #150 on: May 02, 2008, 09:27:49 AM »
I agree with you, Tim. This thread hasn't gone off topic at all; and in the event, I hardly think I own this thread.

I appreciate all the heartfelt reflections you all have posted here, even when they are clearly written with pain or anger, or even barbed with cynicism or overt distaste. It is part of our human journey to react with emotion from our experiences, and a lot of folks have been injured by organized religion. I think that pain is a valid part of any spiritual journey and is certainly a big component of discussion for it.

The discussion in this context is healthy precisely because are not bound by the dogma of faith to believe or discuss anything spiritual, and as people with HIV our view is unique. Maybe it is our greater sense of self, as fearless points out, or maybe it is because for a lot of us the question is tied to homosexuality as well. If now we all have such hugely different beliefs, we all still experience generally the same challenges as we go along.

I'm enjoying greatly all the points you have posted here and I don't think anyone has hijacked anything. It's all valid. 

When I found out I had HIV,

I woke up and started living.

Offline komnaes

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,899
Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #151 on: May 02, 2008, 11:05:47 AM »
My only experiences with "spirituality" (of course not counting close to 18 years of Catholicism) was "studying" the Fourth Way, a series of lectures by G.I. Gurdjieff, with a self-claimed shaman. It was interesting until it caused me my first nervous breakdown by following his exercises. I still have the copy he bought me, but I don't have the courage to read it again.

It's really scary when my mind is acting up and taking me places that I am not sure I want to...
Aug 07 Diagnosed
Oct 07 CD4=446(19%) Feb 08 CD4=421(19%)
Jun 08 CD4=325(22%) Jul 08 CD4=301(18%)
Sep 08 CD4=257/VL=75,000 Oct 08 CD4=347(16%)
Dec 08 CD4=270(16%)
Jan 09 CD4=246(13%)/VL=10,000
Feb 09 CD4=233(15%)/VL=13,000
Started meds Sustiva/Epzicom
May 09 CD4=333(24%)/VL=650
Aug 09 CD4=346(24%)/VL=UD
Nov 09 CD4=437(26%)/VL=UD
Feb 10 CD4=471(31%)/VL=UD
June 10 CD4=517 (28%)/VL=UD
Sept 10 CD4=687 (31%)/VL=UD
Jan 11 CD4=557 (30%)/VL=UD
April 11 CD4=569 (32%)/VL=UD
Switched to Epizcom, Reyataz and Norvir
(Interrupted for 2 months with only Epizcom & Reyataz)
July 11 CD=520 (28%)/VL=UD
Oct 11 CD=771 (31%)/VL=UD(<30)
April 12 CD=609 (28%)/VL=UD(<20)
Aug 12 CD=657 (29%)/VL=UD(<20)
Dec 12 CD=532 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
May 13 CD=567 (31%)/VL=UD(<20)
Jan 14 CD=521 (21%)/VL=UD(<50)

Offline Miss Philicia

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  • Posts: 24,793
  • celebrity poster, faker & poser
Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #152 on: May 02, 2008, 12:20:30 PM »
In other news, the American Psychiatric Association has had to cancel a symposium titled “Homosexuality and Therapy: the Religious Dimension”

"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline Winiroo

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,082
  • Positive since 1991
Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #153 on: May 02, 2008, 02:24:59 PM »
My only experiences with "spirituality" (of course not counting close to 18 years of Catholicism) was "studying" the Fourth Way, a series of lectures by G.I. Gurdjieff, with a self-claimed shaman. It was interesting until it caused me my first nervous breakdown by following his exercises. I still have the copy he bought me, but I don't have the courage to read it again.

It's really scary when my mind is acting up and taking me places that I am not sure I want to...

That sounds awfully scary. I don't think I'd want to go back to try a second time.
If being enlightened meant I have to totally freak out I think I'd rather remain in the dark.

Offline danguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 6
Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #154 on: May 02, 2008, 04:47:04 PM »
I like knowing what words mean.  So I looked up the word "spirit" in my dictionary.  The first definition is "animating principle of life, esp. of humans, vital essence. The second is "the incorporeal part of humans or an aspect of this, as the mind or soul" But it goes on to list 20 other meanings. I assume that  the first 2 definitions indicate something that is something different from the human body. Something that you won't find in an autopsy. Something that cannot be scientifically proved. Spiritually is derived from spirit, so I guess spirituality is something that exists without scientific proof. Therefore, it seems to me any discussion of spirituality immediately enters the area of opinion; choosing to believe something, some faith in something that is intangible. That immediately puts people in conflict. Every body chooses what they want to believe. 
HIV+ is a medically treatable disease, usually  caused by sexual activity in which the virus comes into contact with the blood stream. If a baby can be born with HIV+, I cannot consider that a moral issue.  The baby had no choice in the matter.   This discussion seems to take the view that HIV+ is primarily a disease suffered only  by homosexuals.  That is not true especially in Africa.   
I understand the topic to be how something intangible affects interacts with a medical disease.  Many people believe that their belief in something intangible can help with disease. It is pointless to argue about what someone chooses to believe.To me the discussion should not be on Christianity. Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, or any other mind set.  The topic is how whatever I choose to believe helps me in dealing with a disease.  My family is for the most part Southern Baptist, my lawyer is Jewish, my doctor is Jewish.  I have friends who are Catholics, I had many Buddhist friends in Vietnam. My ex wife is Buddhist.  I choose to believe that there is bigger than me, that knows more than I do.  Even if it is only my dreams.  I choose to believe that there is something like a life force, whatever I choose to call it.  I don't really understand electricity, but I depend on it.  I dont really understand how cell phones work, but I use one. I cannot really prove what I call a life force, nor do I really understand what it is. Nor do  I care whether you approve of it or not. Nor do I feel the need to judge you, or criticize you.  I am a dyed in the wool New Deal Democrat. One of my close friends is a straight female Republican.  We choose to ignore that and can love each other. Jesus said that the second most important commandment was that you love your neighbor as you do yourself.   That means to me that you love thm  in spite of what they believe.

Offline hjeffs

  • Member
  • Posts: 65
Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #155 on: May 02, 2008, 05:38:53 PM »
You have asked for a lot and your search is one we are all on. There is one path but we are at all different places on this path.
For me I practice Science of Mind. It is a recognition of One God and a non judgemental look at the world and our worldly experience. What we think is what we believe. We have all heard the statement "perception becomes reality". This reality can come about when we visualize things in our mind, real or not, but create them to be real or what reality is to us.
I believe very strongly that we are capable of so much in our lives. Our day is as good as we see it. Our experience in our lives can change based on how we see it unfolding in front of us.
There is so much to say and so hard to say it. For me I have had some very difficult life experiences and my faith and practice of God in meditation and Eastern thinking of religion has provided me with Peace Joy and Abundance. There is so much to learn in the quietness of our own mind experience.
I wish you the best on your journey. This is another saying "it is not the destination but the journey that counts". The journey is now, it is the destination. Live like it is and be at peace with what is now. Life is a wonderful place, not easy, but wonderful. What I seek usually is always present now in me. Best to you.

Offline danguy

  • Member
  • Posts: 6
Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #156 on: May 02, 2008, 06:56:16 PM »
Jeff, I totally agree with you. We are all on a path.  my main goal is remain open minded, and to continue to grow.  I am 60 years old and have seen at least half of my friends my age die from AIDS.  How I managed to survive until the miracle drugs, I dont know.  Ever since I was a child, I have been on a journey, and have made many changes as I go along.  In my own life time, there have been so many material changes in our lives.  My mother died after being horribly sick for 12 years.  We could not understand how she survived, or why she chose to.  I know her Christian beliefs sustained her  Deep in my heart, I believe she survived until I was 22, so she could feel that I was ready to take of myself.  my favorite aunt had cancer three times, her life was very hard.  The third time she got  cancer, she choose not to seek treatment. She survived until her last grandchild was born.  Even on the nite of her death, she was writing down things she wanted people to know.  I never saw her go to church, and she was an alcoholic. I never saw her practice anything that resembled a spiritual path.  I only know she loved me  like her children, she accepted it when I came out. I have a gay cousin and a gay step brother.  The mother  of my  gay  cousin has  continued to puzzle about the Bible and being gay, she does not understand it.  But she has never stopped loving me or her son. My favorite niece turned on me when I came out.  She was sixteen. She finally met some gay boys where she worked, and got over it.  I am still her favorite uncle, and we can talk for hours on the phone.
AS i grow older, I realize how little I really know other people, that is hard to love our friends and family, when they have different beliefs, and political ideas. I have learrned to have a true friend, you must accept them as they are. We say in Alcoholics Anonymous that we have to give up old ideas. It also says that we must find something to help us stay sober and clean, and it can only be found deep within ourselves.
In  Hamlet, one phrase says that There is more in heaven and earth, than is dreamt of in  our philosphy.
I will have good luck on my journey and so will you. 

Offline hjeffs

  • Member
  • Posts: 65
Re: Spirituality and HIV
« Reply #157 on: May 02, 2008, 08:27:18 PM »
" to find that out for myself" I think that is the spiritual journey. The question being, what is the truth of myself and my experience.
The belief in One is also the belief in that one in me expressed in my human experience. This is my purpose. This is my journey.


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